Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures Leaders

We, the leaders of smu outdoor adventures, enrich and develop the community, the program and ourselves. We model leadership by constantly building and maintaining interpersonal, educational and outdoor skills through a high level of self-awareness and an atmosphere of excellence. We make a positive impact by creating an open environment that engages the community and empowers its individuals to explore new frontiers.

The Leaders of SMU Outdoor Adventures is comprised of a great cross-section of outdoor enthusiast from the SMU community.We are dedicated to making your experience positive and rewarding.

Join the madness, see the employment page!

OA Leaders

Albert Mitugo

Position: Senior Coordinator Outdoor Adventures
E-mail: amitugo@smu.edu
Phone:(214) 768-4822
Working Since: 2008
Hometown: Rowlett, TX
Degree: M. Ed - Educational Leadership

Favorite Trip: Kind of difficult to pick out one considering the length of time I have spent in the back country (over 180 weeks). They are all pretty awesome!
I get to work with, shape and develop young leaders that move on to do great things globally!

Quote: "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions" - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Michael Weiss

Position: Manager, Trips Program
Working since March 2016
Hometown: Oakland California
Major: Environmental Studies

Favorite Trip: Summiting Wind river Peak in Wyoming with NOLS

Quote: The OA has been by far the best job I've ever had. I get to go backpacking for my job and share the experience with my friends.

Bela Lacayo

Position: Trip Leader
Working since March 2016
Hometown: Houston
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Trip: Outdoor Leader Training Backpacking trip

Quote: Getting paid for something you love is something special

Jamie Paterson

Working since: October of 2016

Major: Environmental Engineer

Hometown: Keller, Texas


Dallas Haas

Working Since March 2017

Position: Trip Leader

Working since March 2017

Hometown: Frisco, Tx

Major: Mechanical Engineering/ Mathematics

Favorite trip: Sea kayaking for 5 straight hours against the wind to Matagorda Island but then spending two glorious days living the beach life and finding part of an old ruined transportation ship. Coming back was a breeze since we were going with the current it took less than 2 hours. Though favorite part was getting to view so many dolphins swinging by our pod! AKA kayaking group

Quote: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” -Dr. Seuss

Colton Ciavarra

Hometown: Richmond, TX

Position: Manager, Climbing Center

Major: Psychology and Spanish Minor

Some of my favorite Outdoor activities are Rock climbing, water skiing and snow skiing.


Hollie Rients

Working since April 2017

Position: Manager, Outdoor Gear Rental Shop.

Hometown: Frisco, Texas

Major: Accounting and Economics

Favorite Trip: Backpacking trip to Arkansas!


Mariah Tinker

Position: Manager, Program Development.

Working Since: March 2018

Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX

Major: Engineering and Math

Favorite Trip: Hiking up Hallasan on Jeju Island

Quote: "First wonder goes deepest; wonder after that fits in the impression made by the first." -Life of Pi


Troy Walker

Position: Outdoor Leader in training

Working Since: March 2018

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, California

Major: Computer Science Engineering

Quote: "Not until we are lost, do we begin to understand ourselves” - Henry David Thoreau



Duke Bednarke


Position: Outdoor Leader in Training

Working Since: March 2018

Hometown: Hartland, Wisconsin

Major: Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering

Quote: “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” –John Buchan


Alec Lebiga

Working since: September 2018

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Major: Computer Science 

Favorite trip: Backpacking the Outer Mountain Loop for the first time in the Winter of 2016.


I love working in a program where I'm able to do something I'm passionate about. 

Quote: "People fail because they don't understand the hard work necessary to be successful" -Yukino Yukinoshita


 Kim Ho

Working Since: August 2018

Hometown: Sai Gon, Vietnam

Major:  Environmental Engineering – Minor in Biology and Global Development

Favorite Trip: Every trip is memorable in its own unique way.

  Trip with the best sight-seeing: Grand Canyon

Trip with the best people: Backpacking trip with the OA leaders to     Ouachita National Forest, Arkansa

 Trip with the best adventure: Moab, Utah               

Favorite part about this trip: I get paid for doing what I love!

Quote: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein


 Alex DeTrempe

From Chicago Illinois

Major Electrical Engineering

Favorite Trip: Buffalo River Arkansas Canoe Float


When I'm not spending time outside you'll find me cooking or watching the cubs!


“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.”  Yvon Chouinard


 Alex Yang

Working Since: November 2018

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Naperville, Illinois


Elle Goldblatt

Hometown: Johnstown, Pa 

Working since October 2018

Position: climbing wall attendant/instructor 


"For me, climbing is a form of exploration that inspires me to confront my own inner nature within nature. It’s a means of experiencing a state of consciousness where there are no distractions or expectations. This intuitive state of being is what allows me to experience moments of true freedom and harmony." - Lynn Hill 



Steve Shoemaker

Working: since October 2018
Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA
Major: Computer Science, Math, Philosophy
Favorite Trips: Philmont Scout Ranch 2016
Quote: "If I was not Diogenes, I too would want to be Diogenes" - Diogenes



For any questions please contact the Outdoor Adventures at 214-768-4322 or email amitugo@smu.edu